Early Braces for Kids: What You Need to Know

At some point, your child's dentist may recommend braces to repair any bite issues or to straighten the teeth. Most kids will start getting braces during their early teens, but your dentist may recommend them sooner based on the needs of your child. You may have concerns about your child getting braces at an earlier age. Here are some things you should know if your child's dentist is recommending braces at a young age:

Why Would a Dentist Recommend Braces for a Young Child?

There are several reasons why a dentist may advise braces for your child. Some children have an improperly aligned bite. When a bite is really off, it can cause multiple problems. A child can have trouble chewing or may favor one side of the mouth when chewing. This will cause premature wear and tear of the teeth on that side of the mouth. An improper bite can also prevent the child from speaking correctly. Over and underbites can also cause your child's teeth to jut out, which can cause some issues with their confidence. Children can also bite their cheeks, which can cause serious pain.

If nothing else, it is worth it to visit an orthodontist for a consultation. There may be some measures you can take while your child is younger to prepare them for braces as they get a little older. Certain oral appliances can help remedy certain issues while you wait to get braces.

Should You Wait for the Permanent Teeth to Emerge?

Typically, children get braces once they lose all of their baby teeth. You can take your child in for a consultation with an orthodontist to determine if the early braces are necessary at that time or if you should wait. Most orthodontists would prefer for the child to have their permanent teeth, but there may be some extenuating circumstances that require your child to have braces earlier.

What Is an Interceptive Approach to Child Orthodontics?

If you want to wait on braces, the orthodontist will use what is referred to as an interceptive approach. This is essentially placing an oral apparatus in your child's mouth while you wait for the adult teeth to emerge. This is a good compromise if you want to wait to get braces for your child.

If you have concerns that your child may need braces sooner rather than later, take your child to a family dentist first to get their opinion.